Summer Reading 2018 High School/Young Adult
Handpicked and reviewed by our staff for 2018 summer reading! Click on the cover images for more information.
Short but powerful. Jack lives on a remote farm, where Joseph is placed as a foster child. At only thirteen, Joseph is withdrawn and damaged, but he is also a father who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter, and the two boys set out to find her.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Heartwarming and funny. Looking for a topic for a scholarship essay, Lisa befriends sixteen-year-old Solomon, who is agoraphobic and hasn't left his house in three years. When the experiment becomes a friendship long-hidden secrets are revealed.
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Heartbreaking story about guilt and moving forward. A teen’s badly-timed text leads to the death of his three closest friends.
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Lovely and unpredictable. Flora can’t make short-term memories, so when she remembers kissing her best friend’s boyfriend, she is determined to track him down, even though he lives on the other side of the world. Flora narrates her own story--and she is one of the most unreliable narrators around!
Alexander Hamilton (graphic novel) by Jonathan Hennessey and Justin Greenwood
Well-researched and very readable graphic biography of Hamilton.
Mars One by Jonathan Maberry
Lots of adventure and tension! Sixteen-year-old Tristan’s family has been chosen for the first mission to colonize Mars but he’ll be leaving behind his whole life, including the girl he is in love with. When the mission begins, competing missions and motives threaten disaster.
What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis and Thalia Wallis
Thoughtful graphic novel discussing the meaning of consent.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (older YA)
A powerful immigration story. Leaving Haiti should have meant a new life, but when Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, she must survive her loud American cousins; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
Vibrant contemporary novel. A festy and defiant deaf girl who feels like an outsider gets drawn into graffiti wars. Illustrated with graffiti art.
The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne and Veronica Fish
Moving, mysterious and beautifully illustrated graphic novel. When Wendy Davies’ youngest brother dies, she is convinced he is still alive in a fantasy world, under the protection of a boy who can fly. Heart-breaking, but stunning!
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Wonderful fantasy about a young albino African American girl struggling with her life in Nigeria until she discovers her latent magical powers. But, these powers also put her in danger. The sequel, Akata Warrior, is now out in hardcover.
A Girl Called Sidney by Courtney Yasmineh (older YA)
Resonant and well-told. Set in the late 70s, when Sidney escapes her dysfunctional family and a terrible break up and isolates herself in a remote cabin in Minnesota. She wants to find her musical voice, but she must also survive a brutal winter.
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Fast-moving sci-fi follow up to Illuminae. When alien predators start picking off people on their space station, two teenagers must step up to save them. The third in the series, Obsidio, is now out in hardcover.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Great memoir showing how a teenager’s brilliant idea saved his village. When a drought devastated William Kamkwamba’s village in Malawi, leaving them with no food and no income, it was the ingenious William who came up with a solution.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
New in paperback. Outstanding chilling dystopian about a perfect world where death has been conquered and two teens who are forced to take part in the horrible reality that lies behind it. The equally gripping follow up, Thunderhead, is now out in hardcover.
Chasing Space by Leland Melvin
Inspiring memoir. Being drafted by the Detroit Lions or becoming an astronaut is usually more than most people achieve, but Leland Melvin achieved both.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Creepy and mesmerizing! When 17-year-old Alice’s mother is kidnapped by a character from a cruel fantasy world, Alice must enter that world to save her--and learn her own story. So dark, so spooky, so brilliant! Older YA.
Calling My Name by Liara Tamani
Beautifully written novel about an African American girl growing up in a tight-knit, devout family in Houston whose beliefs sometimes conflict with the world around her. Taja balances her family and friends’ expectations against her own actions and spirituality as she grows and changes. Older YA.
Sparrow by Sarah Moon
Sensitive and engrossing, with well-drawn characters and lots of cool music and book references. Sparrow has always been anxious and isolated, but her fears overwhelm her after the death of a beloved teacher.
This Phenomenal Life by Misha Maynerick Blaise
A beautiful and inspirational book to wonder over again and again. Fantastical illustrations and deceptively simple text to make you think about how we are connected to our universe.
Surface Tension by Mike Mullin (out May 2018)
Fantastic YA action novel, full of twists and turns. A high school senior stumbles upon an act of terror, but after he loses his memory, the FBI refuse to believe him and the terrorists want him dead.
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
Edge-of-your seat thriller! A young Jewish girl working with the British government infiltrates a Nazi school for girls in order to glean information from another girl’s high-ranking Nazi father.
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron (out May 2018)
Fun fantasy set in Scotland during the Edinburgh festival, with a diverse cast and great world building. Winged beings are falling from the sky and dying on impact. When Jaya finds one still alive, she doesn’t tell the authorities, but hides and cares for it.
The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
Smart contemporary romance on handling death, love and a sense of self. On New Year’s Eve, the anniversary of her best friend’s death, Ryn is stuck at DIA. After accidentally swapping phones with another teenager, Xander, the two are caught up in the strangest night of their lives.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Introspective and thoughtful story about a teen dealing with mental illness. Sixteen-year-old Aza is struggling to control her spiraling anxiety, but, trying to be a good friend, she also takes on the search for a fugitive billionaire with her best friend, Daisy, and meets the billionaire’s son, Davis, who, for his own reasons, is also struggling. (We still have a few signed copies!)